This elegant backyard barn wedding from Robyn Van Dyke Photography is absolutely amazing. Bursting with gorgeous details and a muted blush and gray palette, this adorable couple is full of love – come rain or shine. The beautiful bride, Ashley, is here to give her planning insight:
What (or who) helped you most in your planning process and/or on your wedding day?
I absolutely love to plan so getting to plan our wedding was incredibly fun and exciting for me (though stressful at times). The thing that helped us most in the planning process was constantly reminding ourselves to make things simple, personal, and about us. My mom is a wonderful planner and incredibly organized so she was a great help throughout the entire planning process and my husband, family, and friends were wonderful at helping out with all of the DIY details, keeping me sane, and making the day of run smoothly. Our vendors were incredible throughout the process but especially the weekend of the wedding to execute our vision and be flexible with the rain!
What was the most important thing to you when deciding who to work with for your wedding?
We chose our vendors very carefully because our wedding took place at my parents house so we had to create our own venue from scratch. We chose vendors that we trusted and felt comfortable around, were incredibly friendly to work with, and also that we knew would help bring our vision to life. We truly can’t thank Donny and Blue Ridge Light Forms enough for transforming our industrial barn into our dream wedding venue and Barbara at Harvest Moon Catering and Southern Blooms by Pat’s Floral Design for bringing the whole weekend to life. We chose our band based on a recommendation from our best friends, my matron of honor and her husband, and we are so thankful we did because they had people on the dance floor all night long (including us)! The one vendor we didn’t meet with before booking them was Robyn and Jordan of Robyn Van Dyke Photography but we didn’t want to risk them getting booked so we jumped right in and it worked out amazingly – they were so much fun and accommodating! I could go on and on about all of our vendors because they were amazing.
What was your inspiration for your wedding details and/or design?
The first time we hung out we were at my parents house on Lake Anna in Virginia. I spent my summers there as a child and throughout the years we dated, we had many wonderful memories there, so we knew we wanted to do whatever we had to do to have our wedding there. My parents have an industrial type barn to store things and we decided we could empty it out and transform it in order to have the rustic elegant wedding we wanted at a location that has an incredible amount of meaning to us and our family and friends. When we started planning all of our details, we wanted everything to be intentional and have meaning to us as a couple but also make our friends and family feel right at home because they are the most important people in our lives. Since our wedding was somewhat destination due to the location, a lot of our rustic elegance inspiration stemmed from planning out an entire weekend of events for our guests to enjoy and feel at home. Along with Saturday’s events, we had an amazing welcome bonfire on Friday night and Sunday, Carpe Donut came and served breakfast – best donuts we have ever had! It was wonderful spending an entire weekend with our guests rather than just the day of the wedding.
What was your favorite thing about your wedding?
How can we pick just one? We loved everything but I think our favorite detail of the day was definitely our friends and family and their incredible support and love – it was amazing and so humbling. Our ceremony meant a lot to us. We decided to have an “unplugged” ceremony and asked everyone to please keep their cell phones away which we are so happy we did because it made it much more meaningful. One personalized detail of our ceremony that we loved and would recommend to others is, we decided to come up with the things we love most about the other and share them privately with the minister prior to the wedding. During the ceremony he shared those things with us and our guests – I don’t know that there was a dry eye present. Our favorite tangible detail was our escort cards which were mason jars with twine filled with a margarita because the first thing Michael ever said to me the day we met was, “would you like a margarita?” and I of course said yes and the rest is history! One of my favorite details as a bride was the ditty bags from just a little ditty that I got for my bridesmaids and myself. Each clutch had a meaningful piece of fabric as the interior – mine was the dress I wore on our first date. Some of our other favorite details were our welcome baskets for the guest houses which included my dad’s salsa and pickles, having our pup in the wedding, DIY projects, and lots of great music and dancing! It truly was the most wonderful day of our lives.
What is your best piece of advice for other brides?
Have fun! Try not to over think things and remember at the end of the day, you get to marry your best friend no matter what happens. Do what is going to make you happy and comfortable and make you look back and love every detail you planned. One thing that was hard for me at first was going against what you “think” you should do because its common or popular and going with what is going to make you happy. I tried getting my make up done and it just wasn’t working for me (and has not in the past) so I decided to work with the amazing Lora Kelley who helped me create a look and taught me how to do it and then did my own make up for my wedding – not as common but worked perfectly for me personally. I won’t say don’t stress because it isn’t possible but try not to stress the day of the wedding and truly enjoy it. As everyone says, it goes by so, so fast. It was cloudy and rained the entire day of our wedding (except for during the ceremony woohoo!) but one of my favorite memories from the morning of the wedding was getting ready with all of my favorite ladies in my parents room and looking outside to see my dad using a leaf blower to “blow dry” the grass during every little break of rain and then cover the ceremony site with a tarp to try and keep the area as dry as possible. It was the sweetest thing and had all of us laughing. Things will likely go wrong but in the end it will still be the greatest day of your life and that’s worth smiling about from the moment you wake up :)
Awesome advice, Ashley! I do love a cocktail, so my favorite detail from the gorgeous wedding has to be the delicious looking margaritas-in-a-mason jar welcome cocktails turned escort cards. Cheers to that! How about you, lovely brides? Are y’all planning a signature cocktail or mocktail? I want to hear your recipes below!